SF Reviews background image SF Reviews logo image
Contact SF Reviews   |   Get the Newsletter 

Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Firestar

Copyright 1996 by Michael Flynn

In Association with Amazon.com In Association with Amazon.co.uk
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Superb (4/5)

I first read this in October 1998.

Mariesa van Huyten wants man back in space and is willing to use every resource of her business empire to achieve it. Many people are caught up in the different threads of her grand plan. There's the cynical high-school teacher Barry Fast, a varied grab-bag of students from his school, Ned DuBois - ex-test pilot, Forest Calhoun - ex-astronaut and the various members of Mariesa’s own family,

Two big books in one week proselytising space travel and education- I just finished re-reading Niven & Pournelle’s "Footfall". Both books are gung-ho for getting back into space, both point out that (at least in the ‘80s) America was no longer capable of returning to the moon, and both books quote the same Rudyard Kipling verse "We are one with hope and honour".

I liked this book. I believed in the characters. I even found myself thinking of them afterwards and that's unusual for me. Dwelling on this for a moment, I remember very few of the names of characters from novels. In fact, the only names that spring spontaneously into my rather blank mind are Hari Seldon of Foundation fame, Sam from "Lord Of Light" and Douglas Adam's Ford Prefect. So how come I remember Mariesa, Barry and Shannon, Styx, Alvin, Hobie, Chase and Jimmy, Ned and Forrest and even Harriet? Guess it must be great writing about a subject close to my heart.

It's excellently plotted with the last couple of chapters providing half a dozen perfectly acceptable end-points - together they provide a perfect completion for this big book.

So what’s it got? No aliens, but epic drama, excellent action and SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) rockets. Enough for me any day.

Loaded on the 16th May 2001.
    
Cover of Firestar
Cover by Vincent D. Fate